The Last Piece of the Puzzle

Whenever I take puzzle pieces out of the box, I think of my dad. I remember as a child putting puzzles together with him. He spent hours showing me how to find the corner pieces first and then locating the edges to build the frame of the puzzle.

He encouraged me to study the details of every piece to see how the colors and the patterns related to one another. He showed me how to look at the shapes of the puzzle pieces to see how they created a pattern.

He taught me to be patient and to not get overwhelmed with a difficult puzzle. He showed me ways to make the puzzle easier. I still remember his assembly line system that could quickly find connections in difficult puzzles. He also knew what size of a puzzle to give me so I would not get easily frustrated.

Now, I like to put puzzles together with my children. I have to smile when both of my daughters want to put in the last piece of the puzzle. My dad always let me put in the last piece and I still remember how happy it made me feel to complete such a wonderful project together.

If you look inside a box of puzzle pieces, try to picture each piece as a person. Every piece is unique. Yet, when the pieces are scattered in the box without any type of direction or organization, it is chaos. Once everyone comes together the pieces can create a beautiful picture.

Sometimes a puzzle, like life, can be overwhelming. All of the pieces start to look the same. They are the same color and the same shapes. It is only when we start breaking them down into smaller categories and paying closer attention to the detail that we can decipher their meaning. The final picture is easier to complete once we understand how everything fits together. It always helps to have guidance (like a picture of the completed puzzle). It also helps to listen to the advice of someone with experience.

When I was working on puzzles with my dad, he often joked that there might be a piece missing. It is extremely obvious when one piece of a puzzle is missing. You can easily see that in the picture above. The effort of putting it together is almost ruined because the puzzle cannot be completed. Just like life, it makes a big difference whether we actively participate. If we don’t get involved and share our talents with others, then a huge piece of the puzzle is missing and it dramatically alters the final picture.

When was the last time you put together a puzzle? Find one and start working on it today. It doesn’t have to be a difficult puzzle. It’s just fun to feel the satisfaction of completing something. Maybe, if you put the puzzle together by yourself, you will even get to put in the last piece!

Enjoy the fun parts of life and make time for chocolate.